Slow Car Fast
January 14, 2011 - I spent part of the day today talking paint and bodywork with the local paint shop.
Hightower supply has been very helpful to me. I came home with some new primer and a big bucket of body filler to make those fender flares all pretty.
I also want to try some rubber motor mounts in the car. I think some of my noise is vibration coming through the mounts. I put some competition motor mounts on Janel's street Miata and got a similar noise. Now, the mounts I used were generic small block Chevy (pre-LS1) mounts from Energy Suspension. I went to NAPA, opened up the Big Book Of Motor Mounts, and spotted this on the first page. I don't know what the application is - probably every V8 from General Motors from 1960 to 1997 - but I think that's it. I just hope the softer mounts don't let the exhaust and other bits and pieces lean up against each other.
entry 531 - tags: motor mounts, bodywork, paint
January 26, 2011 - One last job before I start in with the body filler.
I've decided to remove the side marker lights from the car so it looks like the earliest GTs. I've been driving around with black duct tape covering the holes, but something more permanent is required. Step one, clean up the edge of the holes.
entry 541 - tags: bodywork
January 26, 2011 - Step two: cut out a patch.
I used the leftover bits of metal from the Rabbit flares. First I used the hole as a template to trace out the shape of the piece needed, then cut it with a set of snips. Much fine-tuning followed to get the perfect shape.
entry 542 - tags: bodywork
January 26, 2011 - Then the patches were carefully welded into place.
Of course, none of the holes in the car (I also patched the antenna hole) were on a flat panel. So I welded in one or two sides, then reshaped the patch with a body hammer to make it conform. It's still going to need body filler of course - especially on this side, where there's a fairly thick skim layer on the panels laid down before the black paint - but that will be kept to a minimum.
Now, on to the fenders!
entry 543 - tags: bodywork
March 13, 2011 - The Miata is painted, so it's time to turn to the black beast.
I learned a lot doing that car. The experience from it will definitely help with the MG.
So this means it's time for bodywork. I started with the left flares, mostly because they're most easily accessible with the MG in its current parking space. This is going to take a while to get the shape just right, that's for sure. But it's kind of relaxing work.
Why did the hood turn green? Because the black one didn't fit right at the front corners. I was actually afraid the nose of the car had sagged when it was all cut up. But just to be sure before I started taking extreme measures to fix it, I pulled the hood off the green parts car. Problem solved. And laying the black hood on the parts car showed the same fitment problem. So it's not the car. The weird thing is that, looking at old pictures of the car, the hood used to fit perfectly. I'm wondering if it got bent when there were a couple of protruding bolts on the new grille. I wouldn't have forced it hard enough for that, but it's the only explanation I can come up with. Still, I have a good replacement so there's no concern.
entry 558 - tags: hood, bodywork
March 15, 2011 - The car getting a lot uglier in a hurry.
Since I don't know for sure yet if I'll use the Special Tuning airdam - the nose does look a little unbalanced right now - I'm going to paint both it and the lower section together. And of course, all the lights and chrome has to come off. Poor thing.
I also removed the headers so they could be milled flat. I figure the car won't be going anywhere for a while, and the flanges are a bit warped from the welding heat. I can remove them without even lifting the car! Try that on a Camaro. Or a Miata or stock MG, for that matter. I got lucky.
entry 559 - tags: header, bodywork
May 14, 2011 - Let's hear it for power tools!
My air-powered sanders have made a big difference, and the car is looking particularly disreputable but feeling much smoother now. The flares are almost complete and I'm just working on other small spots of the car now. Progress!
entry 565 - tags: Bodywork
May 14, 2011 - You can see how much paint is on this poor car.
The original aqua is obvious here, as is the skim coat of filler that covers the whole car under the black. Someone put some real effort into that black paint job, I have to admit.
In this shot, I'm feathering the edges of the paint to get it as smooth as I can and fix some small shaping problems. Sorry about the quality of the pictures, I left my good camera at work so I decided to set the website up to take uploads from an iPad or iPhone. The camera on the former is nothing to get excited about, but it beats no picture at all.
entry 566 - tags: bodywork